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Environment Environment

Protect rare species

Last updated: 06:30pm 12 October 2018

We will champion greater conservation co-operation within international bodies, protecting rare species, the polar regions and international waters.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.40

Our verdict

This pledge is part of the government’s plan to protect the global environment. It is important to clarify that this pledge is an international one – the government is promising to support co-operation within international bodies in their attempt to protect rare species. We are therefore looking for evidence that new international initiatives have been championed by the UK government that will have a positive impact in protecting rare species. That’s pretty much all we can do given there aren’t any clear metrics or targets attached to this promise.

So, has any progress been made?

In short, yes. In early 2018 the UK and China held a joint workshop in South Africa on the fight against illegal wildlife crime – seminars were given on law enforcement structure, investigation practice, cybercrime and forensics.

In July 2018 the government announced a £31.5 million boost for anti-wildlife trafficking projects around the world. The government also stated they will launch the Ivory Alliance 2024, an attempt to reduce the illegal killing of African elephants for ivory.

Perhaps the biggest step forward is the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference, which was held in London on 11th and 12th October 2018. The conference brought together international leaders to help eradicate the illegal wildlife trade and protect threatened species. During the conference updates were posted on Twitter using the hashtag #EndWildlifeCrime.

Based on how we’re interpreting this promise and the evidence of efforts to “champion greater conservation co-operation” in the fight to protect rare species, we’re marking this policy as ‘done’. 

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